Jammu and Kashmir has ceased to exist as one of the 29 States that made up India, and is today divided into two federal territories of the union, directly dependent on New Delhi. The change culminates the harsh measures imposed by the central Government since August in this disputed region in the north of the country, on the border with Pakistan and the only muslim-majority. Then, Delhi decided to unilaterally revoke the status autonomous special Kashmir —valid for 72 years— the time that sitiaba further a region already militarized, by sending 40,000 soldiers extras, the arrest of half a thousand local leaders, and the restriction of movement and communications. Three months later, the local community continues to partially cut off between protests intermittent.
Playing with fire The general elections in India began with the exaltation of patriotism, hindu-Escalation in Kashmir
“it’s Been 84 days and the total connection to the Internet has not been reset. They have denounced torture and continue to be arbitrary arrests. The economy has collapsed and has been left to the people neither in employment nor education. It is a burden psychologically for the population”, says by phone Ahmer Khan, former member of a human rights group. While the BBC revealed the torture of the indian security forces some detainees, estimates of the regional Chamber of Commerce put economic losses at 1,200 million euros and more than 100,000 jobs. “There are No mass protests like other times, except the one carried out against the meps. But hundreds of people are arrested and is now attributed to the insurgency, the death of workers from other parts of India. This is a volcano about to erupt,” he summarizes.
In the first visit to a foreign since India cancelled the special autonomy of the region, 27 meps from parties of the extreme right, populists and ultra-nationalists traveled this Tuesday to Jammu and Kashmir. So, the Delhi Government was trying to appear normal after banning the visit of a u.s. Congressional committee, and even of opposition politicians in india. But the journey unofficial meps was received with protests in 40 towns of Srinagar, the main city of the Kashmir valley. The visit coincided with the killing of five workers in the east of the country, bringing the number of dead non-kashmiri to 11 since security was tightened in the region. For its part, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights contradicted to Delhi with a report that showed “extreme concern” by the people, “deprived of a wide range of human rights”.
as the Government of India suspended the autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir, the government of Pakistan —administered part of Kashmir and aspires to control the entire region, contested by two nuclear powers since the partition of the subcontinent in 1947— has tried to internationalize the issue. While the UN has expressed concern over the situation of human rights, China —which controls 25% of the territory, to the north east— rejected the measure, although no consequences of diplomatic. However, the united States and traditional allies of Pakistan and United Arab Emirates refer to this issue as an “internal matter”; thus validating the way in which the Delhi Government has addressed the situation in Kashmir.
“The calm before the storm”
expand photo Military patrol the centre of Srinagar (Kashmir).
“The kashmiri we are humiliated. But his reaction this time is unprecedented. Stay at home and do not open shops for civil disobedience, for not participating in a system that ignores,” says Farah Bashir, who returned two days ago to visit his family. Raised in Srinagar, where his school remained months closed in the resurgence of the insurgency in the nineties, Bashir explains that the few protests are due to the absence of leaders, prisoners, and the exacerbated militarization of the streets; where, he says, there are two soldiers every 20 meters. The militarization of Jammu and Kashmir reaches these days, the million soldiers, according to various estimates, for a region with a population of eight million inhabitants. “The situation outside the city is even worse. The milkman, who lives in a village, told us that they had stopped to children on a daily basis to cross-examine them,” says Bashir, who fears for the vulnerability of those who depend on up to now of the special protection of their properties in Kashmir.
The repeal of the statute of autonomy also been removed the constitutional provision that prevented citizens from other indian States to buy land or access to jobs and public schools in Kashmir. The elimination of this privilege, according to the muslim majority, will result in demographic transformation by the arrival of settlements hindus. Although not all think so. “People still have fear to live here, in Kashmir, prefer to Jammu,” says Jeevu Singh. Business man belonging to the religious community of sikh. Singh is confident that the decision to bring the progress announced by Modi: “they will Come and investors will open stores. But the Government should offer opportunities to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, which distrusts them. It has to occur as soon as possible to show that there is a good reason behind this.”
Ahmer Khan, a trader, a hindu community pandit, criticizes how you ran the action: “Even coinciding with the Government on the necessity of restricting the communication, open 200 kiosks with a computer to give Internet service to a city of a million inhabitants, it is ridiculous”, he complains that resident in Srinagar. “It affects students and merchants,” he says, and points out that the number of military personnel has been reduced in the last few weeks, especially in the affluent areas of the city. Not the same opinion of the activists, who blame the Army of numerous arrests, indiscriminate, forcing the relocation of prisoners to jails outside the region, less saturated. “The police say they have freed hundreds. But no one knows what happens to the south of Kashmir, for example,” says Ahmer Khan. “This calm unprecedented is that which precedes the storm”.
The extreme right-wing european sister with hindu nationalism
“The prime minister of India, Narendra Modi, receives a Vox in New Delhi to address the crisis in Kashmir”, has written on Twitter Hermann Tertsch, a member of the party Spanish ultra-right Vox. He and members of Reunion Nacional (RN), Marine Le Pen; the nationalist Polish Law and Justice (PiS, in power) and the Party of Brexit (BP) say they represent “a delegation from the European Parliament”. But a spokesman for the delegaci- expansion of the European Union to India said to the Efe news agency that the group’s activities in the asian country were in a personal capacity.
thirty of meps have visited this Tuesday Srinagar, summer capital of Kashmir, while it produced several clashes between police and protesters in the valley of the same name. Despite the reopening to tourism in the region, in early October, the authorities do not grant visa to foreign journalists or to allow the access to the region for representatives of opposition parties in india. Neither the mep british Chris Davies (Renew), a member of the initial delegation of meps. Davis requested the indian authorities be able to meet with kashmiri without a police escort during the visit, and did not obtain authorization. “I’m not willing to participate in an operation of public relations of the Government of Modi and do see that everything is going well,” said Davies in a press release, picked up by agence France Presse.